Category Archives: iPhone

2.0 Tidbits

index_promofooter_sdk.pngIn Apple’s SDK announcement on Thursday, it was revealed that all iPhone users have a brand-new 2.0 update to look forward to in June.

Steve Jobs finished the program by saying that they would be talking more about it in the coming months, but some clues have been left to suggest features beyond what was specifically announced (Exchange support and other enterprise features, the App Store, etc.).

First of all, Apple itself mentions that Mail (“Mail Touch”?) will include:

the ability to view PowerPoint attachments, in addition to Word and Excel, as well as the ability to mass delete and move email messages.

Blog blargKABOOM points out that sharp-eyed viewers of the event video may note the presence of a new magnifying glass icon on the contacts list in the Phone app. Search is finally coming to the contacts list! (This makes sense, given that the new enterprise/Exchange features open up potentially tens of thousands of contacts, which would make scrolling a chore.)

The presence of a new & improved Calculator icon also caught my eye: Picture 3.png

(click the icon to see it in context)

Perhaps this means we’ll finally see a more full-featured calculator, rather than just the free-from-the-bank pocket calculator?

I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but I do recall that the last time the calculator icon was changed, we got no such new features.

Picture 4.pngAdditionally, of course, there are minor cosmetic changes to see in the video, such as the new iTunes WiFi Music Store icon (at right), which is presumably shedding its download arrow in favor of an iTunes style musical note to help eliminate confusion with the new App Store, which offers downloads of a very different sort.

And, of course, Calendar reflects changes to help facilitate the new Exchange features, moving the buttons to the bottom of the screen and adding an Inbox icon for meeting invitations, etc.

But, perhaps most exciting to see in the event video is Bob Borchers, senior director of iPhone product marketing, outside of that dark iPhone tour room that made him famous:bobs2.jpg

It’s nice to see the iPhone family out and about! :) And check out that stylish new MacBook Air, too…

If you haven’t seen it, make sure to check out the full video:

The 12th App is Revealed!

iPhone

So, it appears that we weren’t crazy after all with all of that talk of a mysterious 12th application on the iPhone! It disappeared for a reason…

Apple, proving that they are not someone you’d want to reckon with in a poker tournament, took the wraps off of yet another iPhone featureYouTube!

Despite the crowd of naysayers who cried out that no Flash support on the iPhone would mean no YouTube, there will, in fact be a method for watching skateboarding bulldogs and piano-playing cats.

Using the same, high-quality H.264 encoded videos that YouTube had already agreed to transcode for the AppleTV, the iPhone will stream the videos through an Apple-designed application on the device.

As MacRumors points out, iPhone has dedicated video playback hardware for H.264, which should give it better battery life that Flash would have.

Additionally, Apple has re-done the iPhone website again, answering my question about why they had failed to update all of their video ‘tours’ during last week’s update.

Now, you can enjoy all-new versions of all of the videos. Some even reveal minor changes to the UI on the iPhone since the January videos, including new contact-related buttons at the top of the SMS display and new flag widgets on the visual voicemail. Also, the traffic and directions buttons are now clearly visible in the Maps app.

Further, it appears that Yahoo! has cut a deal with Apple (or vice-versa) to be the data provider for the Weather and Stocks widgets. When these applications were showcased in January, they resembled the Mac OS X Dashboard widgets of the same type. Now, however, a Yahoo! logo is clearly visible in the bottom left corner of each widget — likely a link to Yahoo’s pages.

This is a departure from the Mac OS X Dashboard widgets, which get their data from AccuWeather.com and Quote.com, respectively. This may foreshadow a similar change for the Mac widgets in Leopard…

And finally, AppleTV‘s first update is now available, adding the announced YouTube streaming and some security updates.

PS: In case it wasn’t obvious that I’m excited about the possibilities of this little device, I’ve added a little countdown widget in the sidebar…

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  • Improved before it’s even new »

    I know — let’s make the iPhone even more attractive, so that it’s even harder to wait for the last 11 days.

    This morning, Apple posted a press release announcing that the iPhone’s specifications have actually improved since Apple’s initial statements in January.

    Now, iPhone has “up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback,” in addition to an impressive “250 hours—more than 10 days—of standby time.” This really puts the iPhone ahead of all of its ‘smartphone’ peers, and even a lot of MP3 players.

    Even if the numbers are at the absolute top end of the possible battery life (and what company publishes the average real-world use life, anyway), it makes iPhone very attractive.

    Cue the Ronco announcer… And that’s not all! The iPhone’s entire top surface has also “been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass to achieve a superior level of scratch resistance and optical clarity.”

    Very nice!

    The press release also includes an interesting table comparing the iPhone’s specs to the leading smartphones out there. Spoiler: it’s really impressive.

    11 days, 9 hours to go!

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  • Smooth Sailing »

    This week’s introduction of Safari for Windows has brought with it some interesting analysis.

    One of the chief points of interest is the fact that Safari for Windows so closely mirrors its Mac OS X sibling (parent?). The interface is an extremely close replica of the Mac OS X version, right down to its use of Mac OS X-style text smoothing, rather than using the standard Windows smoothing routines

    Joel Spolsky has a thoughtful, insightful analysis of the differences and why they are how they are, and why they cause differences of opinion. It basically breaks down to a difference in aesthetic philosophies between Microsoft and Apple.

    Link »

  • Mysteries of time and the space program » Signs

    Ever seen the movie Signs?

    It’s not spoiling anything to recall that there is a dramatic scene where a character begins to hear apparent signals from space aliens (or some sort of extraterrestrial forces) on a simple baby monitor.

    Now, it seems that technology is stranger than fiction.

    This time, though, there’s video »

     

     

iPhone Update 6/8

  • For Sales Training Use Only/Confidential »

    As Captain Barbossa might remind about the rules, “they’re more like guidelines” — despite the blatant reminders that this is confidential information on every single page, an AT&T iPhone Sales Training Manual has slipped out onto the internet.

    There’s still not much to report (just as with the partial scans from this book that leaked a few days ago).

    It is interesting to glance through, but the summary that MacRumors provides covers all of the salient points pretty well.

  • Three Million? »

    Business Week asks How Big Will the iPhone Be? in this article from yesterday. They claim to have two sources that verify that Apple plans to have three million iPhones ready to sell on June 29.

    Let’s hope they’re right. I’m also crossing my fingers for a mail order option.

    So, if BW is right, it makes the persistent rumor that each of the 1,800 AT&T stores can expect only 40 units for the initial sale either doubtful or quite curious.

  • On Spec(s) »

    MacRumors also brings a list of iPhone tech specs purportedly from Apple. (Their use of the word official is a bit liberal, given the secrecy at Apple on this subject.)

iPhone Update 6/7

  • Mysteries Deepen »

    With the release of a fourth iPhone Ad, the over-analysis can begin anew!

    The ad, entitled “Watered Down” depicts the New York Times as displayed on the iPhone — portrait, landscape, zooming in and out (but not loading, you might note).

    As many have pointed out, the ad’s depiction of the NYT homepage includes what should be a Flash-based video in the bottom corner. Could iPhone have Flash playback after all?

    Even more intriguing, all of the ads have been reedited — the new ad does not have the “two-year contract required” line at the end of the video. Re-watching the older three ads, however, reveals that the line is now gone from those as well! Interesting.

    Many folks take that as a sure sign that a two-year contract will not be required after all. I’m not so sure — perhaps Apple just wanted a cleaner ad, since the ad makes no pricing claims, anyway.

    Throwing fuel on the fires, though, the ads were not simply edited to remove the legalese.

    At least in the case of the How To ad, the video content has been altered, as well. The Mysterious Twelfth Iconâ„¢ has disappeared!

    In fact, the entire ‘iPod’ section of that ad was reedited, using slightly different footage. Compare old and new:

    iPhone Ad Comparison

    The ad syncs back up with the original footage as it moves on to email and the web.

    I wonder if they reconsidered their music choices for some reason?

  • Manual »

    Agents have escaped with photos of the AT&T sales training manual. Not very interesting, really — but it’s another dose of iPhone obsession intrigue.

Ready, Set, Hype!

iPhone Calendar Okay. I admit it. I’m obsessed. I’m readying my sleeping bag for June 28.

We, the iPhone fanatics, received our marching orders Sunday night, and we’re pointing our boots in the direction of the nearest AT&T (née Cingular) store. (Uncle Steve told us to avoid his own Apple Stores on Release Dayâ„¢, because that’s where all of the campers will be. Well, until he said that.)

We’ve gotten so obsessed that we’re already spinning out of control with wild speculation based on merely a few frames of one of the commercials.

The three new ads are all truly good — simply, smoothly, and stylishly making the iPhone’s complex set of features look natural, seamless and essential.

Even if you’ve never heard of the iPhone before (Really?), the ads make the device and its powerful, simple-to-use features clear in only 30 seconds (apiece).

As John Gruber points out, the ads sell the iPhone largely by just showing off its interface.

Its interface.

(That bears repeating. In its own paragraph. In its own sentence fragment.)

Yes, it’s the iPhone’s interface that makes it the product that it is. (Jobs: “beautiful software wrapped in a beautiful box.”) Making sure that the software is the driving force behind the product is one of the key reasons that Apple has had such enormous success with the iPod and has garnered such devotion from Mac users.

iPhone’s beautiful interface is definitely worthy of excitement, and the ads’ glimpses of that crystal-clear screen followed by the words, “Coming June 29″ have ignited the passions of the iPhone masses.

David Pogue is looking forward to the frenzy to come, and so am I.

PS: As one hype machine winds up, another is taking a surprising beating from various posts:

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